When X-Men: First Class premiered, the prequel introduced younger versions of well-known characters like Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender). Last year, X-Men: Days of Future Past essentially rebooted 20th Century Fox’s X-Men universe by rewriting the past, though the franchise still suffers from continuity inconsistencies. However, due to the ending of Days of Future Past, the next film, X-Men Apocalypse will see new versions of even more characters that appeared in X-Men, X2, and X-Men: The Last Stand.
In addition to recasting Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse will also feature a younger iteration of Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler to be played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Now, Smit-McPhee has spoken about creating a new version of the character and teased Nightcrawler’s “traditional” aspects.
While promoting his new film with fellow X-Men star Fassbender, Slow West, Smit-McPhee told Den of Geek his portrayal of Nightcrawler will reflect the character that fans were introduced to in the comics. He will be “fun, happy” as well as “vulnerable and truthful” while also tied to his faith in Catholicism. Smit-McPhee also teased other traditional aspects of the character, which will be featured in X-Men: Apocalypse as well.
Read Smit-McPhee’s full quote:
“I think I’m really going to make it my own because it is kind of going back and its seeing the younger character. I realize the Nightcrawler that is portrayed in ‘X2’ is one that has been through quite a bit more and has really embraced the superhero part of him – a kind of violent part. Whereas I think what they’re trying to show here is the more vulnerable Nightcrawler and the one we all kind of related to in the comics. It’s really the fun, happy, swashbuckling Nightcrawler that we all love, so I really can’t wait to portray that. He’s just very vulnerable and truthful, and grounded in his faith. I think it’s something new though that we’ll see. But as I said, all of the traditional things that we want in it – it’s still there. Hint, hint.”
Though Smit-McPhee is extremely vague about what traditional aspects of the character he is referring to, offering very little to go on, it’s possible the actor is speaking of Nightcrawler’s parentage. Within the Marvel X-Men comics, Kurt Wagner is the son of Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique and Azazel.
Both Mystique and Azazel were main characters in X-Men: First Class, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Jason Flemyng respectively, though they largely didn’t interact. However, it was revealed in Days of Future Past that Azazel was killed by the U.S. Government – along with Angel Salvadore (Zoë Kravitz) – following the events at the end of First Class.
In terms of the timeline alone, it’s certainly possible Mystique and Azazel conceived a child between First Class and Days of Future Past who would be about the right age to be played by Smit-McPhee in the ‘80s-set Apocalypse. Since Mystique abandoned Nightcrawler as a baby in the comics, it would explain why the child was absent from Days of Future Past but could appear in Apocalypse.
The parental dynamic between Mystique and Nightcrawler could certainly account for Smit-McPhee’s description of his character as “vulnerable” since a reunion between the two could prove to be an emotional scene or arc of the film. With both characters included in X-Men: Apocalypse, the movie could explore that aspect of their comic history, especially since it didn’t factor into the previous trilogy.
That all being said, the relationship between Mystique and Nightcrawler appearing in Apocalypse is still largely speculation. Though it would make sense given the characters’ history in Marvel’s X-Men comics, we need to know more about the film to know the true nature of their relationship. With production set to begin soon, though, we may not need to wait long.
X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theaters May 27th, 2016.
Source: Den of Geek